english APS: help me out here!

<p>hey everyone :) im an international student, and im going to be taking 2 APs in may 07: english lit and english language. can anyone shed some light on what these exams are like? i graduated in june of this year and im now on a gap year before i start university, and i need these 2 aps, so im self-studying for both of them. </p>

<p>when do you think i should start preparing for them? ive got the princeton books and some books that showed up alot on the free response questions from the collegeboard website (for eng lit). anyone here taking an ap english lit class? what books are you reading?</p>

<p>also....how hard are these exams?? ive always been really good at english in school, and a read a lot. i want to major in english lit& creative writing, so im naturally interested in that field....so...yeah. im completely clueless here :) any advice would be great ... thanks !!!!</p>

<p>AP English exams aren't exams you can usually prepare for, besides from reading books and practicing writing. They are a sum of all the writing and reading skills you've acquired your entire life.</p>

<p>yeah, i figured....thanks :)
anyone here took these exams before? anyone got 4s or 5s, and any tips to get a good mark on them ? i need to get a 4+ on both of them for university. i just ordered the 5 steps to a 5 books for both subjects, are those any good?</p>

<p>I took English Language this year after taking AP English 11 and got a 4 on the test. I'm not especially good at writing or critical reading (600s on SAT CR, ouch). I was suprised at my grade, but the test really wasn't that bad. </p>

<p>For prep, my class did about an hour total of practicing multiple choice questions from previous AP tests, and throughout the year (at the end of the first 3 marking periods) wrote in-class essays in one period that were prompts from previous tests, so not much AP-specific prep. I did no outside AP-specific prep, either.</p>

<p>Hope that helps, and good luck.</p>

<p>I took language last year (5).. it's not exactly an exam you can prep for, as 19 said. However, try to obtain copies of old tests and do them under timed conditions. Write essays on a biweekly basis, to former prompts, as well. When you're practicing MC, don't be afraid if you end up getting 20/50 questions right (that's the range I was scoring in). Just review the questions you miss, esp. if you didn't understand certain words or phrases. You want to especially focus on learning how to understand writing from 1500-2000, but stress earlier writing because they use that for passages commonly (particularly 1600s, 1700s, 1800s). I don't have any recs for test prep books, except don't buy Kaplan's (did before the test, didn't really help).</p>

<p>I got a 5 on both. </p>

I would say to practice multiple choice questions for both tests and practice writing the essays to become familiar with the test format. </p>

In both of my classes, we would also practice annotating sample passages from old tests - highlighting any examples of literary techniques (like similies, metaphors, assonance) and explaining why we marked them (ex. what they contribute to any themes, how they help develop characters, etc.). If you use old essay questions, you can use the question they ask to guide what you want to highlight. You may find this more practical for lang because it seems to focus more on analysis of literary techniques. </p>

<p>Every week we would write some essay from an old test for practice, with the grading getting progessively harder until it was AP level. </p>

<p>I wouldn't worry that much about the MC for either test because they are hard. My lit teacher told us that even she doesn't do that well on them, and she is an English genius (That's a little biased, but she's still really, really good). </p>

<p>For lit, the test essays stress THEMES. This was the biggest thing we covered in class all year - what is the overall theme of the novel (or passage) and how does it apply to society? I didn't use any prep book, but I know that the essay instructions don't specifically ask, "WHAT IS THE HOLISTIC THEME OF THIS PASSAGE?" Still, it was drilled into us that we ABSOLUTELY NEEDED a statement of the theme for all of our essays. </p>

<p>For lit's open-ended FR the major books we read were: Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison), Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoevesky), Wiseblood (Flannery O'Connor), Frankenstein (Mary Shelley), Hamlet (Shakespeare), and Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad). You can find a comprehensive list of recommended AP books by using any Internet search engine and searching for something like, "AP Recommended Reading List" or whatever. </p>

<p>If you can only read some of those, I would suggest "Invisible Man" and "Crime and Punishment" because, according to my teacher, those are the catch-alls - anything on the open-ended question can usually be found in either or both of those books.<br>
Wiseblood is very, very, very bizarre if you want to practice your analyization skills. It's supposed to be a good book to write about (Some college professors don't even want to teach it, so a student that can analyze it well looks especially good) provided that IT'S RELEVANT and THE ANALYSIS IS CORRECT. (To clarify "correct analysis" - any analysis from a book can be considered good if you can find text to support your position. Going off on a random tangent won't help your essay score.)<br>
If you don't think Wiseblood - or any book - is applicable to the question, then don't use it. It's better to write a strong essay with a seemingly lame book (that appears on AP's reading list) than a weak one with a really complex book. </p>

<p>That was really long, but I hope it helps. If you have any other questions, please ask. Good luck in May!</p>

<p>thank you SO MUCH!! that was a huge help. im going to start studying (ugh) soon, so lets hope i get a 5 then! :)</p>